Theset - Never Odd or Even
Record Label: Upper Management Recording Co
Released: January 27, 2009
Released digitally last September and finally in stores physically this past January, Theset's latest effort Never Odd or Even has arrived. The group hails from Victoria, British Columbia and formed back in 2004, however chances are you still aren't that acquainted with them yet. The guys had the intention of only playing one set but obviously the chemistry was so great that the quintet decided to take their music quite a bit more seriously. This disc is their sophomore effort and it’s already succeeding with making more and more people aware of the band’s existence.
The record is apparently a sci-fi concept disc about the end of the world and it’s pretty easy to figure that out. Just looking at the sci-fi influenced album art makes that pretty clear, as do the song titles. The title track even proves this right off the bat with vocalist Martin Macphail wailing “When the sun goes out, you can scream and shout but it’s all still gonna happen.” Though don’t worry, even if sci-fi isn’t your thing in the slightest, there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy this disc.
One of those reasons is due to the sick riffs the band’s guitarists come up with. The opening lick on “Survive,” the first single as well as one of the best songs on the record, is sure to get stuck in your head. Though, the most poppy song has to be “The Dance Floor.” The tune also showcases Macphail’s range perfectly. He can hit all sorts of notes but seems to prefer incredibly high pitched angelic crooning, which might not be for everyone. It doesn’t fit in as well with the faster paced tracks but it works much better with slower ballads like “Little One.” “No Such Thing as Stars” has another cool guitar riff that screeches and is about as high pitched as Macphail’s voice, a combination that is repeated a lot throughout the record. The band is heavily influenced by At the Drive-In and you can faintly gather it by listening to that track.
Ultimately at first listen, Never Odd or Even doesn’t sound that original. A lot of the tunes sound eerily close to any song by Saosin, but if you like them you’ll likely love Theset. As the record is repeated, some gems like “The Dance Floor” and “Survive” stick out, but most of the rest lean more towards filler. The licks are good, yes, but they don’t quite cut it enough to have this record hold its own that well.